On working with fear

By Melissa Hardiman

By Melissa Hardiman

Note: I published this post in January 2014. I offer it to you again today. The fear level in the world, and in my neighborhood, is on the increase. We do not attend to that situation. I think we are afraid to do so.

I have been working on fear for a long time now without adult supervision. I don’t know if that is the proper way to go about it.

The texts say to be mindful of everything that shows up in consciousness, and this includes fear. Chögyam Trungpa says specifically to smile at fear, in his book by that name. Krishnamurti said to move past what we fear and reckon with fear itself. Pema Chödrön wrote Taking The Leap on the subject of fear. The teachers say that on the far side of fear a friendship with one’s self occurs naturally, and that it is very sweet. I’m eager for that to happen.

Letting go is really an act of acceptance of your situation. It is not a surrender to your fears about it. It is a seeing of yourself as larger than your problems and your pain.—Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living

I can speak from experience that when you extend an invitation to fear it will accept it. Fear has taken a seat at my table, as Rumi described in his poem.

Fear hardens in place when identities are shattered as they were in my family. We see an enormous number of shattered identities in the world today. We have convinced people that they are smaller than their problems. The work load ahead of us is huge.

It would be beneficial to share what we know about working with fear. We ought to consider it politically correct to bring it up for a dialog among friends in a proper setting. I invite you to share something of your experience here.

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